Do you sometimes think that a little "pied a terre" in Miami would make your life happier, and sunnier? Then you should keep on reading to make your dream become a reality. Of course you always want to be very knowledgeable before investing anywhere in the world.
In Miami you have to know a few basics to buy a condo. You'll see everything is so much easier and transparent than in Italy. This guide will teach you the tools at your disposal and the local procedures.
1. Why buy in Miami?
Before finding a deal for you, let's quickly sum up why you should consider buying a condo in Miami. First and foremost it's a safe investment with little to no risk. Then Miami offers a good capital gain and properties are still at this time cheaper than any other capitals in Europe. You can still buy in a new and front line building with fantastic ocean or bay views. Finally but very important if you want to spend some time here the quality of life is exceptional.
2. Work with a professional realtor and lawyer
The first step to find a deal is to have a good team working for you, especially when investing abroad. Everyone works hands in hands and will provide you with the best service. A good realtor will give you experienced and up to date advice. He will also guide you to other professionals (inspectors, lawyers, property managers, accountants) with the same ethics. Please remember that your realtor represents you and the seller is represented by another realtor so that each has your best interest in hands. The seller is the one who pays both realtors at closing.
A good lawyer will introduce you to the real estate law but above all he will be your confident. He will make sure the law protects you and your investment. He will check any liens on the condo, any issues with the building and will issue for you a title insurance.
3. Identify the location and the building in which you want to buy
When you start visiting condos, focus first on the location and the building rather than the unit itself. There are plenty of units for sale in every building so during your next visit you can focus on which unit is the best investment.
Once you have identified the building ask your realtor to give you the last sales in the building. This will give you an idea of how much every unit has been selling for in the past months or years. Then tell him you want a list of everything that is on the market for sale at this time. Finally ask him the history of the unit you like so you know for how long it's been on the market and how much the previous owner bought it for.
4. Put an offer in writing
Once you have gathered all this information you are ready to make a deal on the property you want. Remember that you can do multiple offers on different units and check who will respond with the best price.
All offers have to be in writing because that's how we do it here but also because it is more enticing to a seller to see that you went thru the hassle of preparing seriously an offer.
You can make a low offer but make sure it's down to earth so that the seller gets in the negotiation game and doesn't drop the ball. Other items on which you can negotiate are the closing date (the sooner the most appealing for the seller), the terms (cash or financing), the inspection period (the sooner it ends the better for the seller).
5. Negotiate using comps
Having all the data in your hands, do not hesitate to use it against the seller. The last sale in that building was 3 months ago and $50,000 less than what the seller is asking? Perfect use that information.
When you've been thru a few back and forth I usually tell my buyers to slow down the responses so that the seller fears of having lost you.
We are in a buyer's market so you are the king. Use words such as 'final offer' to make it more dramatic.
6. Get an inspector and negotiate a rebate afterwards
Once you have your deal under contract don't forget to send an inspector even if the unit is in mint conditions. He will find something wrong and you can negotiate again with the seller so that he gives you a credit at closing for repairs.
I am sure these hints will help you in finding the perfect condo for the best price.